Speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Sula Selections: Globe in a Glass Roadshow 2017’ here, Samant also said that global warming was emerging as a key challenge for the wine industry across the globe -- as well as in India.
“Drinking for young women in tier 2 cities will be socially acceptable. The point is also about economic empowerment in those cities, when younger people become a little bit economically self-sufficient. Young working women may not have a problem any more in 10 cities in India (right now), but outside those 10 there are still problems. But soon, they are going to get their own disposable income and all of that is going to go lock step. So for sure, its inevitable,” Samant said underlining that women would be driving the growth of wine sales and popularity.
Wine, he said, naturally suited women rather than whiskey in the contemporary Indian social context. “Whiskey is a little bit tough, too strong. Women are much more comfortable with a glass of wine. (Also) in terms of image, in terms of acceptability in society,” he said, adding that such a sentiment is “even reflected in Indian cinema”.
“Back then, if you drank a glass or something in a movie, you were the vamp, you were the fallen woman. Today Priyanka Chopra can have a glass of wine in the movie. She is seen as an independent, modern woman,” Samant said.
Sula Vineyards, which pioneered wine manufacturing in India in Maharashtra’s Nasik region, currently accounts for nearly 65 per cent market share of the country’s wine industry -- with a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent for the last 10 years. “At this point, our situation is very simple. We have been enjoying a CAGR of 20 per cent for the last 10 years. We are always a little bit constrained on the supply of grapes. Twenty per cent is all we can deal with,” he said.
The challenges for the wine industry comes from climate change and its impact and steps need to be taken to overcome the obstacle.